The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa. File photo

San Diego County will release its draft Election Administration Plan on its website Thursday as the Registrar of Voters seeks to transition its election system to the vote center model.

The public will have 14 days to review and comment on the draft before several consultation meetings through the rest of January.

The plan describes how the registrar’s office will administer elections under the Voter’s Choice Act. The public can give input on where to locate vote centers and ballot drop boxes. Attendees can also give feedback on voter education and outreach plans.

The registrar’s office is creating the plan because the County Board of Supervisors approved the transition to the vote center model on Oct. 19.

The vote center model is intended to modernize the election process by sending ballots to all active registered voters in the mail. In-person voting will move from traditional polling places to vote centers and voters have the option to return their ballot by mail, a secure ballot drop box or vote in person at any vote center.

All the vote centers will be open for four days and some up to 11 days, giving voters more time to return their ballot for Election Day.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the registrar used a similar voting model for the November 2020 presidential general and September 2021 gubernatorial recall elections.

The new Election Administration Plan must be in place for the June 2022 gubernatorial primary. By law, the registrar must hold consultation meetings beforehand with the county’s disability, and state and federally covered language communities.

The communities include Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Native American, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Suggestion forms for vote center and mail ballot drop-off locations are also available online at www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/VotersChoiceAct.html.

Consultation meetings will be on Jan. 24 and 28 and the amended plan will be posted to the county website on Feb. 21. Public comment will end March 6 and on March 8, the registrar is scheduled to send the final adoption plan to the California Secretary of State for approval.

The plan will be reviewed in the odd years prior to each scheduled election year. The next process will begin in 2023 for the 2024 election cycles.

–City News Service

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